The great thing about August is that the weather is usually wonderful.

There may be only a month left in the official 2020 summer, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots of warm weather to yet be enjoyed!  So instead of bemoaning the date, perhaps we should be putting some effort into celebrating it.  It’s not hard!  The farmers markets and supermarkets are literally bursting with berries and fresh fruit.  Combined with our flavourful fruit wines, not only cocktails and sangrias, but Summer Desserts are a breeze to make and to serve up in the hot day days ahead.  Everyone loves them and they can be so much fun! 

It’s true that #Summer2020 will go down as one of the strangest in recent memory.  Most of you are staying closer to home this month, and thinking up activities for a fun staycation instead.  No doubt you are spending more time on your own patio.  We can help with that! 

With hopes of enhancing that patio time in the month ahead, here are ten of our favourite fruit wine desserts:  

1)    Berry Berry Sauce. 
(Super easy and delish over cheesecake or ice cream.)

2 cups fresh strawberries
2 cups fresh raspberries

Raspberry Dessert Wine
Take 1 cup of each and blend together in a blender.  Add the remainder of the berries and cover with Field Stone Raspberry Dessert Wine.  Refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Pour over anything.  Yum!
 
2)    Summer Berry and Fruit Compote. 
(Can be made up to two days ahead and served warm or cold, by itself or as a topping for pancakes, ice cream or over cut fruit.)

2 cups blueberries
½ c. brown sugar
¼ c. Black Currant Fruit Wine
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ Tbsp. grated lemon peel 
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cups quartered strawberries
1 ½ cups blackberries
2 cups sliced peeled peaches
Combine blueberries, sugar, wine, lemon juice and lemon peel in a saucepan.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Cool to room temperatures.  Cover & refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.  Combine strawberries, blackberries and peaches.  Spoon strawberry mixture into 6 serving dishes.  Spoon blueberry mixture over top.  Serves 6.
(Variation:  Substitute Raspberry Fruit Wine for the Black Currant Fruit Wine and substitute raspberries for the blackberries.  Either way, it’s great!)

3)  Berry Cherry Wine Slushie. 
 (OK, technically a slushie, but who would refuse one after BBQ’d burgers?)

2 cups frozen blueberries
2 cups frozen cherries
1 bottle Cherry Fruit Wine
Blend together, pour into glasses and serve immediately!
 
4)     Strawberry Lime Granita. 
 (“Granita” is the Italian term for an “ice” or frozen dessert made with fruit or fruit juice.)

1 pound fresh strawberries
1/3 cup Field Stone Strawberry Dessert wine
5-6 Tbsps. lime juice or to taste
½ cup water
Put all ingredients in food processor.  Process till smooth.  Add the lime juice.
Pour into a 9’ baking pan, freeze uncovered.  After two hours, break up with a fork.
An hour later, repeat process.  Scrape with fork to break up ice chunks that are forming
In five hours it should be frozen to a good consistency.  When firm and solid, scrape up with a fork or spoon and serve in martini or parfait glasses.
 
5)    Field Stone Strawberry Cream Trifle. 
(A bit more work, but beautiful to look at, and a real crowd-pleaser.)

1 baked white cake, 2 layer size
2 cups (or desired amount) sliced fresh strawberries
1 vanilla pudding and pie filling, 6 serving size
3 cups milk
1/2 cup (or more, if desired) Field Stone Strawberry Dessert Wine
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cut cake into chunks.
Cook pudding with milk according to package directions. Cool to room temperature. Hasten cooling by placing pan in cold water, stirring often.  Whip cream and vanilla until stiff. Make layers of cake chunks, a generous sprinkle of Strawberry Dessert Wine, sliced strawberries and pudding in glass trifle bowl, using as many layers as needed according to size of bowl. Make the last layer pudding. Spread whipped cream over top. Chill. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.  Serves 12.  (Aside:  I have also tried this with chocolate cake and Raspberry Dessert Wine, and guess what, it’s good too!)
 
6)     Strawberry Fruit Soup. 
(OK, technically a soup, but oh my, does it ever make a great dessert.)

3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup half and half cream
1 cup crushed fresh strawberries
1/3 cup strawberry preserves
1/4 cup Strawberry Dessert Wine
Place cheese in blender and blend til smooth.  Blend in cream, strawberries, preserves and wine.  Chill at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.  Garnish with sliced strawberries and/or mint leaves.
 
7)    Black Currant Wine Sorbet. 
(Takes some effort but it’s so pretty, and so, so summery.)

3 cups Black Currant Fruit Wine
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. Black Currant Dessert Wine
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
Cook first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or just until sugar dissolves. Fill a large bowl with ice; place saucepan in ice, and let stand, stirring wine mixture occasionally, until cold (about 1 hour).
Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times will vary.) Spoon sorbet into an airtight container; cover and freeze at least 8 hours.  Combine blackberries and next 5 ingredients; toss gently. Cover and chill up to 2 hours. Serve sorbet topped with berries.
 
8)    Raspberry Chocolate Mousse. 
(For all you chocolate lovers out there.)

3 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
½ cup Field Stone Raspberry Dessert Wine
2 cups chocolate chips, melted and cooled
16 oz cream cheese, softened
¼ cup honey
3 Tbsp. Field Stone Raspberry Dessert Wine
3 Tbsp. crème de cacao
1 tsp. vanilla
Gently combine raspberries with ½ cup of the wine. Beat together melted chocolate, cream cheese and honey til fluffy. Beat in 3 Tbsp. raspberry wine, crème de cacao and vanilla until blended. Spoon raspberry mixture evenly into 8 small dishes. Top each each serving with mousse. Garnish with chocolate curls and refrigerate for up to one day before serving.
 
9)   Raspberry Sorbet Float.
(Ok, technically a drink, but who wouldn’t enjoy this after dinner?)

4 scoops of raspberry sorbet
4 ounces of Raspberry Fruit Wine
Divide sorbet into two glasses (stemmed look great).  Pour two ounces of Raspberry Fruit Wine over each. Garnish with some raspberries on a skewer.  If you like it a little sparklier, top with champagne!

10)  Saskatoon Berry Crème.

(An absolute beauty – see pic – and delightfully light!)

2 ½ cups whipping cream

¾ cup sugar

½ cup Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Heat cream and sugar over medium heat and whisk occasionally, heating just until the sugar has fully dissolved.  Remove from heat, stir in wine and lemon juice.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then carefully pour into clear serving dishes.  Chill overnight and top with an assortment of fresh berries. 

OK, technically, that’s 10, but I have to add one more… our long-time favourite, just in case some of you have never tried it…

 Field Stone Super Summer Swirl Dessert 
125 ml. Field Stone Raspberry Dessert Wine
1 litre vanilla ice cream
Fresh raspberries
Soften the ice cream and put in into the blender with the dessert wine.  Blend.  Pour into martini glasses and re-freeze.  Top with fresh berries and a grating of chocolate.  Yum!  
You can also try: Strawberry Dessert Wine with strawberries; Saskatoon Berry Dessert Wine with saskatoons; or Black Currant Dessert Wine with blueberries or blackberries.  Added tip:  If you are making the Saskatoon Berry, look for Co-op’s Saskatoon Berry Ice Cream to use in the recipe.  It adds great flavour!

 We hope this helps you enjoy the fruit season!  You can find more recipes at our website anytime, or tune in regularly to our social media sites.  As you probably already know, we’d love to hear from you if you have a developed a dessert recipe using our fruit wines.  Most of our recipes have come from customers who have combined their great imaginations with our products.
 
In other news, we are in the throes of picking our orchard fruit as we speak.  Some saskatoon berries, that lovely little purple fruit, will be making their way to the freezer, to be brought out at a later date and transformed into a delicious fruit or dessert wine.  Our early “Chief” raspberries are also in the freezer, along with the “Kent” strawberries.  But more fun ahead:  our “Double-Delight Raspberries” are looking good for a September harvest.  Thankfully our resident deer families left us more fruit this summer 😊 And thanks to everyone who has inquired about our ongoing competition with Mother Nature.

A huge, huge thank you to our our customers who have come out to support us at the  outdoor markets this summer.  In a year like this, we small businesses need your support more than ever.  In fact, we exist only with your support.  Most markets will continue well into September and some into October.  If you live in the Red Deer, Calgary or Edmonton areas, you can find us this summer at a market near you. 

We also want to highlight the fact that our year-round, indoor, full-time markets – operate every weekend all summer as well.  Do you like to shop out of the sun, wind, rain or hail?  We are available for you at Calgary Farmers Market and Bountiful Farmers Market Edmonton every single weekend throughout the year.  Events and activities at these markets are adhering to strict protocols so you and your family can shop with confidence.  Many wonderful products and lots of fun times to be had!  More info at www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca and www.bountifulmarkets.com.

And if you are up for a little drive on the weekends, remember that the winery is open for tastings on Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 5.  Last day for the winery will be August 30, so we hope to see you before then.

And, that’s it for this month.  We hope you enjoy the last half of the super summer season and your patio-perfect moments include fruit wines!

Happy August, everyone.  Bring on the dessert.

 

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